AM General to Offer Humvee Kit for $59,000
Military-spec DIY vehicle will come without an engine, or creature comforts.
If you’re a Humvee fan and feeling sentimental for the now-unavailable brand -- or just paranoid and preparing for the closing cycle of the Aztec calendar this December -- you may have a chance to get your hands on the military-bred vehicle -- if you’re the hands-on type, that is. AM General, the division of General Motors that produces the vehicle for the military, is reportedly set to offer a kit version of the C-series Humvee modeled after the original wartime HMMWV vehicle for $59,000, engine not included.
Just don’t call it a Hummer, the brand that was shuttered after GM unsuccessfully tried to sell it to China-based Sichuan-Tengzhong, among others. By offering the Humvee as a kit vehicle that’s fundamentally different from the H1, AM General is able to sidestep legal constraints and also conform to U.S. government motor-vehicle regulations. The Humvee hasn’t been available to the civilians for 12 years, and AM General estimates that the buyer of a kit Humvee could add an engine and transmission and be ready to roll for $75,000 -- a steal when you consider that the H1 Alpha had a sticker price of $140,000 in 2006.
As for possible engines -- all of which would be an improvement over the original Hummer’s anemic 6.5-liter turbodiesel powerplant -- we would suggest the following if you want to stay within the GM engine family. For ultimate torque, the Chevy/GMC 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel would be the best bet. If you wanted to make a statement -- and a fast getaway -- the 7.0-liter Chevy V8 from the new 2013 Corvette 427 or the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Corvette ZR-1 is the way to go. Or consider one of the 600-plus horsepower Corvette V8s from Callaway or the 800-horsepower beast from Lingenfelter.
But keep in mind that the final product that rolls out of your garage will be a stripped-down Humvee and won't include Hummer H1 creature comforts such as power locks, interior trim or even hard doors. It will be a spartan soft-top/soft-door, 4-seat vehicle, although AM General will offer factory add-on options such as the Humvee’s signature Central Tire Inflation System. Armor and a 50-caliber machine gun, however, won’t be available.
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